PASTOR'S PEN: A new year

A new year, a new start. Many use a new year to put the old behind them and look ahead to new goals and are hopeful that all be better this year

If last year was full of financial stress, there is hope that this year will relieve those burdens. If last year encountered job loss, there is hope that this year will bring a new job. If last year was riddled with health issues, there is hope that this year will bring relief. If last year involved people that constantly aggravated, disappointed or bullied us; there is hope that they will change or things will somehow be different.

But in the midst of that hope we must realize something: flipping the number on a calendar changes nothing but the date. It will not resolve your issues or magically make the world a better place. Does that mean there is no hope and nothing in which to place our confidence? Absolutely not.

In Genesis we read about a man named Joseph. His life was full of turmoil. He had brothers who wanted to kill him and ended up selling him into slavery. In his early twenties, he served as a slave with a woman who was constantly enticing him to sin against God by sleeping with her.

As a reward for his faithfulness to his master and obeying God, Joseph ended up in jail for over two years and was completely forgotten by a man who had assured Joseph that he would remember him. And in the end, Joseph becomes second in command; yet it still far from his family, far from the promised land of God, married to an ungodly woman and around no one who loved and served the one true God.

He truly had a life full of tragedy!

Yet, in the midst of all of his troubles we find this statement, “The LORD was with Joseph.”

That one phrase is repeated throughout his life and his evident as you read this account. And that same fact is true for you.

If you know Christ then Joseph’s God is your God. He is with you and you can trust Him.  I don’t know what this year will bring for you or for me.  I pray it will be filled with joy, though there will likely be times of aggravation, sorrow and trouble.

Look to the life of Joseph and remember that in every situation the Lord is with you and you can trust Him.